Filer | Piler | Pro-Piler | Thrower
What kind of organizer are you?
- Filer: Do you open your mail, folders, whatever your paperwork comes from – read it – take care of it – and file it immediately before it leaves your hands? (if this is you, can I just say I’m super jealous and I want to be like you!)
- Piler: Do you open your mail/paper – look at it quickly – …. and pile it to “read later”? … but days, weeks, maybe even months go by before you “deal” with it again. It’s sitting there, so you’re constantly looking at it – but you do your best to ignore the existence of the pile…. but when you need something, you know right where it is and can put your hands on it in a matter of a couple of minutes. (if this is you, I feel your pain…times a pile or two!)
- Procrastinated Piler (Pro-Piler): Do you get the mail/paper – set it down to look at later – …. and then when you absolutely must answer because the deadline is looming, or past, then you read it – and deal with it … after a stressful time of trying to find it. (not gonna lie – this can be me too, but only when life gets really crazy)
- Thrower: Do you just throw the mail/paper away? When someone needs it, they’ll come looking again? (I wish I could be this brave.)
But then… you also need to think about what kind of organization do you like?
I really, Really, REALLY like everything to have a place and everything to be in its place…. this is my happy place. Clean, organized and put away. This is not my real life.
So I have to figure out what will work on a daily basis, quickly, and efficiently (as in not spending more than a few moments looking for something specific).
Full disclosure: I am totally 100% a vertical piler on any flat horizontal surface. Everywhere. I don’t allow our apartment to have flat surfaces without a specific purpose. My desk area RARELY doesn’t have a minimum of four piles – urgent; to-do; to-read; and to-file. I have two file cabinets. I have matching/coordinating folders to help me get filing done. I really do want to file…it just doesn’t seem to happen. Honestly, I really enjoy filing, I find it relaxing…when I get around to doing it.
I actually find virtual organizing easier than for-real-paper organizing. Probably because I can’t necessarily see my mess – to be distracted by my mess – in the process of cleaning up my mess…..did you follow? 😊
Regardless of what you like, it is important to figure out how your brain really works (not just how you want it to or how someone else thinks it should) for virtual organization to work. How do you group your thoughts? You need to figure out how you “file” your memories (photos)/thoughts (documents).
- What main categories in life do you collect paper from?
- Do you go by year?
- Do you go by month?
- Do you go by whole date (month/year)?
- Do you go by event?
- Do you work from home?
- Do you have school-age children?
- Do you homeschool or do they go to school outside of your home?
Example: (my answer to the first question)
Main categories: I am a full-time mom; we homeschool; and I work solely from home as an independent contractor admin, a part-time employee admin, and doing graphic & web design as a business. As my business, I also do editing, proofing, and consulting work for a couple of people.
So, the main categories of filing in my computer are:
- DOT&INK PROJECTS
- doTERRA | Essential Oil Info
- HEALTH | Hashimotos – GF DF EF Info
- Newest Nikon photo download
- WEBSITES | Web Design
- YOUNG LIFE
You’ll notice all aspects of my life are mixed – but they’re in alphabetical order! :-)
- All caps are my “top” level folders; inside each folder may have any number deep of more filling – I’ll explain what I mean later.
- Where I used first letter capital and rest regular (Hashimotos – GF DF EF Info), it is a description to myself. (both my daughter and I have Hashimotos, our kitchen is GlutenFree DairyFree EggFree)
- “Newest Nikon photo download” is just my way of importing photos from my camera into my computer – they go into this folder, then get separated. Again, more on this later.